Lois Lerner, the head of the Exempt Organizations division of the IRS, just took the fifth amendment at the House Government Oversight Committee refusing to testify on the grounds that she might incriminate herself.
Despite taking the fifth, Learner protested her innocence of any wrongdoing.
“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”
Lerner was then excused from the hearing. Her future at the IRS is unclear.
The Exempt Organizations division of the IRS is tasked with evaluating whether organizations qualify for tax exempt status such as the Section 501(c)(4) status which groups targeted in the IRS Scandal were seeking.
Questions remain what further consequences, if any, persons in the IRS will face in response to the scandal.
Lawmakers pressing for more heads to roll at the Internal Revenue Service are going to be disappointed.
“Why weren’t more people fired?” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) demanded at a hearing Tuesday on the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, channeling the frustration of his colleagues.
In fact, it appears that no one has been formally reprimanded and a spokesperson for the union representing IRS workers said it hasn’t been called to help any employees yet. Most employees involved in the targeting program are covered by protections for federal workers that could drag out the termination process.
No matter how many “heads roll” at the IRS the damage to the public trust has been done. The only question left is how many people knew about the targeting and whether it was a result of policy-making from above or rogue elements in the IRS.